That is the predicament Paula Thomas, 45, from Bristol has to grapple with every minute of each day.
She has a syndrome that causes her to smell of rotten fish and she says it is like “living with a death sentence”.
According to the BBC, Paula Thomas has trimethylaminuria (TMAU), which prevents the body from breaking down materials found in certain foods.
She is reported as saying that she missed school plays to avoid being in crowded places, had been made to get off buses, and felt racially abused because of her smell.
There is no cure for TMAU but avoiding certain foods may lessen the symptoms.
The poor woman has been living with the traumatizing condition since childhood and the only time she has some semblance of respite is when on some days or for part of a day the odour could be less intense.
“It’s like living with a death sentence – I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, it’s that bad,” she said.
“The discrimination, the harassment, the anxiety and the smell itself is just horrible.
“When I’m on a bus I hear comments like ‘oh that smells like a toilet’ and ‘gutter’ and every odour name in the book, I’ve heard it all,” she said.
Sadly, she said the abuses are sometimes so heartbreaking to the extent that some of the abusers extend it to the realm of racism and refer to her as a “filthy Jamaican”.
She recounted how someone banged on the window of her flat calling her “filthy Jamaican” before leaving a bunch of bananas on the bin outside her door.
“I came home to find someone cleaning my door and windows. When I asked what was happening, they said it was to get rid of ‘that awful odour’,” said Mrs Thomas.
“It’s not nice waking up in the morning with this condition.”
“I didn’t get to go to my little girl’s nativity play, even though I wanted to so much, because I was anxious about being in a crowded place,” she said.
“I’ve lived half of my life clean, smelling nice and then one day you wake up stinking and you don’t know the cause.
“I feel so isolated, it’s horrible.”
The NHS says trimethylaminuria is often caused by faulty genes that a person inherits, but this is not always the case.
The BBC further reported that Mrs Thomas was sent to see a specialist at the London Metabolic Clinic in 2011.
“I was so optimistic – I thought I’d go back to normal life but I was told there’s no cure, so I was devastated,” she said.
The helpless woman has called for the syndrome to be acknowledged as a disability as she has lost out on many opportunities including finding a job.
“You never know when or how but you know it’s coming,” she said.
“Every day is a nightmare for me.”